Boating Blogs Worth Following

By Rich Armstrong

Some bloggers are young, some not so much. But all share a love for boating and for chronicling their passions in blogs and very cool videos. Here are a few stand-outs.

Inspiration From An Intrepid California Couple

What makes Ryan and Nicole Levinson's blog so magnetizing is that Ryan, a former world-class athlete and champion sailor, was diagnosed with a form of muscular dystrophy in 1996. There's no cure, and his disease is degenerative. Suffering from muscle loss, Ryan can no longer hold up his arms, do a situp, pushup, or stand on his toes. But you'd hardly know that from their video posts, as Ryan treats his disease like another athletic challenge, while savoring the fact that he's living out his dream. With the help of Nicole and a growing host of friends, they're out there, cruising in the French Polynesian islands aboard their 38-foot Naoma and determined to sail around the globe.

"Through these videos we're reaching out to you from over the horizon, a reminder that despite whatever challenges you face, wild places still exist in this world and are within your reach to explore," they write in their first blog post. Next time you hear, "attitude is everything," think of this couple.

Passion Drives This Angler

Carter Andrews says he did not choose his life of fishing — the life chose him. Barely past his toddler years, he was obsessively casting his line into the local ponds of his Tennessee farm-country hometown. Today, "Big Boy," as he's known, is an accomplished fishing guide, tournament angler (he fishes some 300 days a year in both fresh and saltwater), author, blogger, and TV host. His website serves as a springboard to his social-media presence (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vimeo). Carter has earned a reputation as one of the most "complete" anglers, splitting time between Panama and his ranch in Jackson, Wyoming, which allows him to, on any given day, troll bait for marlin, cast plugs for dorado, saltwater fly fish for yellowfin tuna, or chase Rocky Mountain bass.

Sailing La Vagabonde

Elayna Carausu and Riley Whitelum are 20-something Aussies on the adventure of their lives. Now three years into an open-ended global voyage, where they work along the way — she's a singer/songwriter — they document their lives on their blog, as well as on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, where they have, wait for it, 211,000 subscribers! The couple posts a compelling new video every week, on everything from whale watching off Tonga to fishing for their dinner, fixing gear breakdowns, and exploring ashore. Elayna's soothing acoustic guitar adds to their well-edited video posts. Their international following has grown to the point where French boatbuilder Outremer has offered to build them a 45-foot sailing catamaran to replace their 43-foot, 2007 Beneteau Cyclades monohull. Try not to be jealous.

Exploring The West Coast In Style

Alex Benson is a retired real estate agent from San Luis Obispo, California, who's been chronicling his voyages aboard his Selene 53 trawler Wild Blue from Mexico to Alaska since 2008. This summer he journeyed to scenic Vancouver Island, off Canada's West Coast, and Ketchikan, Alaska, fishing and venturing ashore with family and friends who fly in to various ports to catch a leg or two of the voyage. Like any good ship's log, this is a detailed chronology full of incidents and observations; plus he accompanies it all with video — of crossing Oregon's treacherous Tillamook Bay bar, cruising in snow off British Columbia, landing a giant king salmon, bear watching in Alaska, and close-up views of icebergs.

Honey, Let's Bring The Kids!

Bryan and Laura Merrick made a commitment to live aboard three years ago, when they had a 1-year-old daughter and Laura was seven months pregnant. The amazing thing is, they made it happen! On June 15, they cast off from Beaufort, South Carolina, and headed south with their two young children aboard their 1994 Hunter Legend 37.5 All In. Bound for a winter in the Bahamas, they've had their share of broken gear and groundings, while dealing cleverly with the needs of their kids — now 4- and 3-year-old daughters, Avery and Leslie.

To cope with little people with short attention spans on board, the couple had to get creative, going as far as fabricating a travel-day fairy who comes the night before long travel days. The "fairy" takes the girls' toys and arranges them on the table and brings out special snacks and movies. These parents have come up with lots of tricks, all the while learning about the cruising life underway. 

— Published: December 2016

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